Former Democratic New York Mayor Ed Koch recently expressed disappointment in President Obama’s treatment of Israel, telling a Jewish crowd last weekend that no one “can rightfully say that President Obama is the best president” for Israel.
“I hope to move the president in further support of Israel,” Koch told a largely Jewish audience on Sunday during The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies’ national conference in New York City. “I hope to change him.”
Koch, a frequent critic of the Obama administration’s policies toward Israel, said Obama could allay the Jewish community’s concerns by simply stating that the United States will no longer tolerate Iranian aggression.
“All of this could be wiped out in terms of bitterness if the president were just to say an attack by Iran on Israel will be perceived by the U.S. as an attack on the U.S., and we will respond militarily,” Koch said, according to video of the event.
A respected Democratic voice on the Jewish speaking circuit, Koch’s comments indicate that the White House has failed to woo one its principal Jewish critics as Election Day draws near.
With the Jewish community poised to play a critical role in several key swing states, Koch’s public attacks on the president could become a thorn in Obama’s side.